There will be plenty of emotion this Saturday afternoon when the first pitch of the 2021-22 Mount Gambier Softball League is thrown at Blue Lake Sports Park.
Three games will take place on the newly refurbished diamonds with reigning premier Demons the favourite to race out of the blocks.
However, there will be plenty of emotion surrounding the opening round.
The softball world recently lost much-loved figure Tammy Jones and players and spectators can pay their respects to the longtime Concordes player during a minute silence before each game.
“Sadly Tammy passed away recently and she was a Concordes club member, so we are going to have some ceremonies to honor her at both the 1pm and 3pm games,” Mount Gambier Softball representative and Concordes White coach Jo Hopgood said.
The six teams will return to the diamond for the new season with Demons leading the charge.
The blue outfit smashed Warriors Blue 14-1 in the finale last summer led by Bella Morale.
Hopgood hopes the 2021-22 season will be tighter after the defending premiers went through a transition phase over the winter, with Montanna and Mackenzie Millard uncertain starters.
“Demons are always good, but apparently the Millards are not playing this year, but could rock up at some point,” she said.
“They will be a new look side, but no one really knows until we actually get out there.
“Concordes White will be a team to watch because some good players have come back like Maddie Boyd from Adelaide, Rachel Bagshaw from being away.
“Warriors and Concordes have two teams, while Wanderers need more players. We have had a bit of an interrupted preseason after COVID, but diamond 1 has had a total makeover.”
It will be all action this Saturday when two games will be played simultaneously from 1pm to kick off the season. Concordes White face Warriors White, while best and fairest Leyna Bruggemann will coach the Warriors Blue which opens its account with a Wanderers clash.
Meanwhile, Demons kick off its title defence against Concordes United led by Hannah Taylor from 3pm.